Currently based in New York City, New York, and Denver, Colorado.
As a world-class musician, Rachid Halihaltr travels to bring to our community the true character and spirit of musics from the classical Egyptian repertoire beloved throughout the Middle East, music from the Fertile Crescent, the diverse regions of Morocco and North Africa and the mesmerizing music of the Arabian Gulf.
As a child growing up in Fez, Morocco, Rachid played the nei and sang, imitating the famous singers of the time. At age fourteen he entered "Dar Aadyil", the Conservatory of Music in Fez. At first he studied Western classical and Andalus music on piano and violin. He soon expanded to include a variety of other instruments in order to better express his native music. In addition to his voice, which is best featured in the Andalus style, his strongest instruments are the oud (similar to a lute without frets) and the violin, which he plays in both the classical manner and upright resting on the knee for Moroccan folkloric music.
Rachid played in an Andalus orchestra in Fez and throughout Casablanca until 1986, followed by an extended stay in the Ivory Coast, Sweden and Finland. Highlights include his septet sharing the bill with Cheb Khaled at the Helsinki International Music Festival. In the beautiful coastal city of Agadir, Morocco, Rachid fully managed a night club, its musicians, and folkloric troupe for seven years, playing his music every night for the club’s primarily tourist and Arabian clientele. Rachid was invited numerous times to the Arabian Gulf as a singer that and oud player in his own right. He also accompanied many of Morocco's well known touring singers with his violin that visited Agadir, Morocco, most frequently Mohammed Abdo, one of the Arabian Gulf's most beloved performers..
In Summer 2004 Rachid toured the USA with The Chicago Classical Oriental Ensemble playing Moroccan Andalus music with Abdelfattah Bennis. He shared the stage with Genesis at the Crossroads Festival in Chicago. Rachid was presented at Columbia University in concert with visiting Israeli singer, Michel Cohen, with Moroccan singer Pinhas in New York and Miami, as well as other ethnic concerts and events throughout New York City. In 2003-4, Rachid’s band was presented at Denver's Global Groove World Music Festival, with Nawang Kechong in Aspen, and many Mid-East Dance concerts at the Boulder Theater, Colorado, and with Souhail Kaspar in Denver, Boulder, Portland, and Los Angeles. Rachid performed for the inaugural King Tut exhibit in the US in 2005 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and toured the USA and Canada with Rachid Taha (Algerian/French) Rai-rock band.